Wednesday, 25 March 2009



There is something about that record that really reminds me of Julian Cope and the Teardrop Explodes.  I guess it mostly lies in how vocalist Harry McVeigh’s style isn’t exclusively distinct.  Then there is the antagonising manner in which the guitars couple with the keyboards somewhat softening proceedings in a painfully eighties fashion which perhaps only serves to undermine the clear intention of the lyrics.  One paragraph along it is already a lot to take in.

This song appears to be about remorse.  The playground addressed could easily resemble/represent a number of things both past and present.  And all of them mental.

While listening to this seven inch I find myself scratching my balls.  As I raise my fingers to my nose the smell is orgasmic.

The success of this record is in the chorus and the thumping hook therein found.  It’s blunt and unsubtle, exactly the kind of familiar disposition that the listener is able to psychologically hug and attach itself to.  This music is not alternative, it’s pop.  It’s clear.  It may as well be manufactured.  What came first: the song and the hook or the post-punk packaging it is dressed up in?

White Lies hail/originate from Ealing, London a place where I know a lot of people, all of which inhabit varying degrees of trait but none of which necessarily assemble fetishes towards mental playgrounds.  Ealing is way out west, an area of London that does not strictly resemble the capital.  It’s on the tube but fails to command or maintain the bright lights of the city.  As a result it has a suburban, grim feel.  This perhaps explains White Lies mindset.

Thesaurus moment: worsen.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009



At first I didn’t really pay any mind to the latest MF Doom incarnation but then suddenly I was hit with the track “Cellz” which opens with a Charles Bukowski reading of his poem “Dinosauria, We” and quite frankly it sounds as if the world is ending. This is my kind of music.

For years I have never been able to work out how come Marvel Comics haven’t sued a large part of the hip-hop community into oblivion. What we have here is quite obviously the arch nemesis of the Fantastic Four had he chose rhymes over world domination. Perhaps Marvel takes it as a compliment, perhaps the slight changes in persona/identity (i.e. MF Doom instead of Dr Doom) keeps things far enough away from copyright infringement to be safe. Running on the same theme Ghostface Killah pops up as Tony Starks and NOT Tony Stark. It’s a fine line between stupid and genius.

This is a street album viewed through the escapism of being a superhero. It is both dark and respectful; playing out beats, rhymes and tunes in a classic manner. Delivered as a running narrative over seventeen tracks the content of Doom is now darker than ever as all concepts become bleaker. I say it is seventeen tracks but being in such a format many of these are bridging verses caked in minimal rhymes and disorientating samples, six of the tracks indeed fail to even reach two minutes in length.

There is a healthy dose of golden age TV referencing/nostalgia, not least on “Angelz” featuring Tony Starks/Ghostface Killah who appears to be reading the television listings from 1978 before tearing into a big sexy description of his Charlie’s Angels. Raekwon also makes a fleeting appearance on “Yessir!” (which in another era may have been the lead single) but the pick of the guest spots/slots comes from Empress Sharhh on the gorgeous “Still Dope” which with its glory hole loop/sample serves as a prime affirmation. The other standout track is “Absolutely” with its laidback destruction via minimal beats and heavy crackles that make things feel like 1994 once more.

Overall it’s a pretty solid record, if not a perfect one, the superhero samples, old skool beats and trademark MF Doom rhymes (mouth too close to the mic, few stops for breath, all smashed out direct in a very straight line) make for one great episodic adventure.

Thesaurus moment: marvel.

Lex Records

Monday, 23 March 2009



I feel foolish and duped for purchasing this record. For some crazy reason I thought this band was going to be something else but as soon as the needle hits the admittedly impressive vinyl the penny drops and it is just the latest form of indie disco shambles and mess. This feels like such an Uncle Tom kind of record.

Currently appearing in a Mazda advert ripping off a White Stripes video (“Seven Nation Army”), absolutely everything about this song/single stinks of making money and running. The crude sexual overtones are hardly subtle and these echo the whirring sentiments and message of the dirty slag that is this song.

At the end of the day it all sounds like being at some horrible fun park that was torn apart by Hurricane Katrina and now the government wants no part of this embarrassing reality so in the words of the singer its “DIY to paradise” (or something).

There is an argument to say that this song is infectious but so also is swine flu and if this record sounds new and fresh to you you obviously were not around in the eighties, more you were a putrid piece of jizz dribbling out of your father’s cock and reluctantly crawling into your mother’s cunt into a womb that was just as uninterested and unwelcoming. In fact anyone that likes this song/single, you were a mistake and should have been an abortion were it not for the fact that clinic charges too much.

Why is there such a vacant fucking look in these people’s eyes? This is a bad record.

Thesaurus moment: before.

The Noisettes

Saturday, 21 March 2009



Much like those old Open University programmes that the BBC2 used to show on Saturday mornings in an era before Dick And Dom and Hider In The House, there is a strange appeal to the lecture of Dr Mixomatosis with this module.

In what could so easily have slipped into patronising instead the lecture happily overdoses on the entertaining in order to reach the height and pinnacle of show business: edutainment.

This is the disc that accompanied the lecture and with this CD you get ten acts for the price of five.

Beyond the crushed midget drone of “The Really Useless Group” opener the examples of originality (or rather lack there of) kicks in with “Unacceptable In The Eighties” which is a very slick and accommodating mash up of “Come As You Are” by Nirvana and “Eighties” by Killing Joke, which is a rip off even noticed by accountants (albeit ones that were students in the eighties themselves). The job Dr Mixomatosis does here is a very astute and tasteful one that acknowledges the value of the offending/guilty track but also how it ultimately adds and improves the use of the riff.

With “Drugbusters” the thievery performed by Ray Parker Jr on Huey Lewis And The News is painfully exposed in what is a more alarming and shocking (and previously unheard) piece of evidence.

The process of borrowing is next highlighted on track four by Kelly Osbourne raping Steve Strange of all his Visage glory to produce a song that sounds like a lukewarm Ladytron. Was it really worth the pain? This is the decision for the listener to make.

The closing example is perhaps the most heinous and disturbing but also the one that displays the biggest degree of revenge by using the original to expose the fraud as an aural/oral piece of cheese. With “Call On Valerie” Dr Mixomatosis manages to empower Steve Winwood to get up out of his comfy chair and wrestle back his vocals/lyrics back from Eric Prydz and with it substance and heart. Steve Winwood may not be a popular place to be at right now but up against this tat its Dad’s Army all the way.

And so it is with minimal persuasion that Dr Mixomatosis opens up the ears of the listener and allows them to make up their own decision as to whether true originality is possible in music and if/when liberties are taken is it possible to be fraud and still maintain credibility.

Thesaurus moment: pinch.


Saturday, 14 March 2009



This is the point that music becomes a fetish item. This record is a prized rarity for all the wrong reasons and as a result it is a thing of beauty. In the wrong eyes/hands/ears a purchaser could feel ripped off but in a learned mind the things that could make this bad are the things that actually make it exciting.

When Nirvana broke music was still exciting, fresh from a format perspective and exciting to collectors as the songs still possessed some kind of tangible value, still had personality and individuality. As MP3s songs just literally get lost in the shuffle but when Nirvana came along it was years before the digital nation took over and ruined many prized aspects of the glory of music.

The concept and idea now of doing a seven-inch bootleg feels truly absurd. This unfortunately confirms just how Nirvana (and grunge) was truly a lifetime ago.

From an aesthetic viewpoint everything about this record is wrong. With the garish green colour choice and crap fonts used on the artwork to the sneaky way the gorgeous white vinyl attempts to disguise (justify) itself as a promo you sense not a lot of love was put into the construction of this record. Indeed the photo on the cover features the drummer (Chad Channing) that wasn’t even part of the band at the point it reached triple platinum. Full of faults, you cannot but love this record and see it as anything but beautiful.

Reading the tracklist you are met with nonsense. At no point did Nirvana have songs called “Not What It Means”, “She Said” or “Make It Big” in their cannon. Instead the songs are “In Bloom”, “Breed” and “Pay To Play”.

The version here of “In Bloom” is a poorly transferred copy of the rather jagged Sub Pop video from the Chad Channing period and in my opinion superior take on the song. Following is a demo version of “Breed” that arrives abruptly and sounds finished if not polished. Perhaps I’m wrong, maybe it is just a poor lift from Nevermind. Either way the energy of the song remains undiminished and undisputed. Finally is the demo to “Stay Away” called “Pay To Play” that eventually wound on that strange Geffen Rarities compilation they put out for no reason in the mid-nineties. Again rougher and starker this is possibly a better than the eventual version that wound up on Nevermind.

This release causes me to crave for a music industry of old. There is no excitement or glamour in stealing tracks as MP3s but the downright theft of tracks to produce this distorted but beautiful release is the stuff of dreams.

Thesaurus moment: crafty


Thursday, 12 March 2009



At a time when no bands know how to play or write guitar songs in an exciting manner, as an alternative we get this: Kap Bambino.  And I can’t decide whether that is a good thing or bad thing.  Or even whether it is acceptable.

Remember when Billy Idol discovered and thought he’d invented Cyberpunk?  How futuristic did that feel?  Surprisingly not very.  It actually looked quite silly.  There was the same old blonde man only now his clothes were strange and his hair platted into dreadlocks.  It looked more breakdown than science fiction.

The point I am trying to make is that this song sounds like Sigue Sigue Sputnik to me and while that music wasn’t completely horrible, on the whole it was flawed.  That was not a plausible approach to take in an effort to storm the music world.  And yet here we go, another band co-opting that sound coupled with an Atari Teenage Riot-esqe female vocalist.

Bands like this are the spawn of Suicide.  These are heady two piece units where the bookish mute makes the music while a crazy motherfucker on the microphone yanks all kinds of vocal chains in an effort to leave an impression on the audience and listener.

Kap Bambino is French (from Bordeaux to be exact) and therein perhaps lays the confusion.  Singer Caroline Martial has been listed as a “hot young model” and suddenly it would seem the appeal of the duo is not necessarily in the music.

I scream, you scream, she screams.

Thesaurus moment: conehead.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009



Despite some kind of apparent indie conspiracy still working against him, the rejuvenated and revitalised (vital) 21st century model of Morrissey is truly a magnificent thing to behold. Now more resembling landlord at the Queen Vic, as opposed to speccy twatty geek of old, there is a real element/air of growing old with disgrace as a real snide and bitter tone remains to his musical output even if his backing hasn’t grown or matured with him. This record is the ultimate in defiance from the snide Stephen Fry of music.

It must be tough entering being a Smiths fan for the 25th year knowing that in the back of your head (and maybe in the forefront) the loser victim mentality of his actions and words remain something of an influence on your fabric and being. For this, rightly or wrongly, it is good (maybe essential) to gain the occasional nod of acceptance and loyalty.

This music remains perfect for anyone male and bitter looking to indulge in sarcastic defiance, an act probably immature that one that not to bother a care. He isn’t the tortured soul, it is his audience that are the tortured ones. As if Morrissey needs some fucking blogger telling him what he thinks about his new record.

Years Of Refusal kicks off with a bang as he wastes no time in posturing his lack of concern with “Something Is Squeezing My Skull.” Within the song come a number of self analysing questions that sound like echoes of words written by negative scribes to whom he later responds with “well you drop dead.”

The tribal drums of “Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed” give a real marching tone to proceedings as his words sting with “life is nothing much to lose, its just so lonely here without you.” In a questioning fashion he appears to reacting to mistrust with a vengeance lacking in so many.

By the time he is “Throwing My Arms Around Paris” it is becoming evident that Morrissey is feeling as lonely as his listeners. Once more it feels like he is acting out of defiance, trying to convince himself as much as anyone elsewhere. Here is a person that looks to reject before he gets rejected.

An entertaining air of arrogance is attached to “All You Need Is Me” aimed directly at all those naysayers that have criticised his actions and words in recent. These words could almost be aimed directly at my friend who liked to refer to him as the “Racist vegan.” Its all about wrong adoration. He knows he sells papers with what he says.

Likewise here is someone who very much knows his audience, not least for the nod to the Mexican fans on “When Last I Spoke To Carol”, which is kind of ironic to me considering that one of the last times I spoke to my friend Carol was at his Roundhouse show a year or so ago.

For some reason “That’s How People Grow Up” suddenly makes sense placed in this collection. Whereas previously it looked lost as a cash in extra track on his most recent hits compilation placed against the tone of the rest of this record it fits right in with the nonchalant look of revenge.

It is genuinely impressive how this record holds up and remains strong until the climax as “Sorry Doesn’t Help” endeavours to put things into context before “I’m OK By Myself” serves to send out a message of self satisfaction primed to be picked up and adopted by any lonely heart able to accept.

For me this record came perfectly times, arriving just as my heart lay in its current state of tatters. Basically the words of this record helped to put things into perspective (too much fucking perspective) as I found myself able to crawl out of moping and into anger. I’m better than that.

As the daft racist accusations now lend the music a new kind of edge that it quite possibly does not deserve in the current musical climate come the end of 2009 this will be an easy contender for album of the year

Thesaurus moment: secure.


Tuesday, 10 March 2009



With “Be Not Afraid” The Slow Life serve up a kind of chimed melancholy with one of the most atmospheric affairs that will be committed to disc all year.

Often positively reminiscent of Karate (Geoff Farina et al) the highly emotive output is the kind of music that paints pictures with its distinct elegance. Displaying a similar kind of determination as Lungfish, a towering sense of duty reverberates around the mind of the listener with its haunting throes of distant winds recall memories now left behind.

There is something distinctly unique in this gesture. Very rarely do you come across and discover such a calm and well paced record. With the unique chiming percussion it gives off an air of drizzling rain falling from the sky, seating a downbeat scene ripe for reflection.

When the record arrives at “When You Carry A Hammer” there is a sense and feeling of being in the presence of greatness. I doubt there will be a more complete and near perfect song produced all year. In a world (genre) where the craft often omits hooks in preference to attempting to appear smart “When You Carry A Hammer” somehow manages to perfectly sync all elements of what is great song writing and delivery.

As the remainder of the album plays out you are firmly on The Slow Life’s side, impressed and optimistic over the course of which these times are taking.

Afterwards I feel drained.

Thesaurus moment: rich.

The Slow Life
Trace Recordings

Monday, 9 March 2009



Despite the nice guitar sound there is something horribly flouncy that serves to hold this song back. Then once it really “kicks in” there is something so horribly lacklustre about the whole affair that it makes me want to go outside and find the nearest tramp or pregnant lady and kick them firmly between the legs with my biggest boot possible.

Just what is the fucking point of this song, record and band? This is a seven inch single on vinyl, this dross is quite literally killing the planet and with me wasting electricity on playing it on my turntable in a way I am joining them in draining the planet’s resources. Now who is the bigger bloody fool now?

With a chorus that features “do do da da do” or something equally tedious in a way it does sound like Gary Numan on a crap day using guitars instead of robots and computers but also it is the band Menswear that comes to mind as I lock and load my shotgun and consider doing bad things if this song does not finish soon.

When they talk about the girl from the BBC is it any particular one? Can’t we possibly get hold of her (them or it) and get them persuade this band to do something else, to talk them down and never look back? Can we?

The song has finished now and the sun has actually come back out. All good things.

Thesaurus moment: meh.

Official Secrets Act
One Little Indian

Tuesday, 3 March 2009



Neko Case follows in a long tradition of amazing US indie female songwriters. This talent comes coupled with a staunch and fresh appreciation for the country twang that mature and hip audiences appear to admire and desire these days. I’m not really quite sure why this is but certainly Neko Case fits into the pretense of being both a rough and wholesome example of this kind of spirit.

The Neko Case audience is not your traditional country fanbase. This is a more lefty and considered set of people, folk more inclined to be sympathetic to such a lady’s apparent plight. With this in mind it serves to make the audience easier to dupe, to cloud when proceedings become cheesy. In a way this record and the relationship between audience and listener is really quite patronizing on many levels.

From this is Throwing Muses without the chops at which point the question becomes: can the voice and lyrics carry this record? Not to my knowledge. Occasionally it sounds like Kristin Hersh fronting Mazzy Star which isn’t necessarily a promising thing.

There appears to be two forces tugging at this record and these are the desire of directions. One is country and the other is indie. Both are worlds inhabited by oddballs but one is structured towards existing in a green belt while the other a grey belt. As the majority of the listenership exists in the latter but yearns the former it all becomes something of an effort it would seem to keep everybody happy.

For some reason I keep labouring the fact of the audience. I just can’t get with how country music has seeped into alternative rock in recent times. I don’t think they make for good bedfellows and often they seldom have more in common that just being performed and listened to by middle class white people (some might say the educated). Why should I take exception to this? I just find snobbish, a gesture towards exclusivity.

Back to the music and with “Prison Girls” a true moment of greatness is hatched in the most beautiful and emotive of songs singing of a pained and convincing existing that culminates in a sense of realistic resignation, acceptance and grudgingly attained beauty. If only the rest of the record had sounded like this. There is an infuriating inconsistency attached to this album.

Sometimes you cannot force yourself to like a record that you were destined to hate.

Thesaurus moment: trailer.

Neko Case

Monday, 2 March 2009



Powering out of the gates after the momentous “Eleven Stages Of Intervention” album, it is business as usual for the ambient bass monster that is Rothko. High on atmospherics and emotions this four song EP appears to represent the current state of the nation with regards to the minimal direction Rothko now appear to be taking.

The release opens with “Give” and a righteous groove harbouring some kind of motional discontent on a wayward journey. The bounce that comes from the playing on this track is infectious and eventually verging on menacing. As it disappears off into the distance at the climax all once more seems well.

For an EP this is a lengthy and ambitious collection laden with more atmospherics than ever before, something most vividly displayed on the second track “Declaration”. These songs feel like an outpouring with the way the open with ambience before eventually erupting into contained chaos, assertive ahead of aggressive. As the release ends with rattles on “For The Day We Said” it feels like a summons, a coded message to a higher power, a confession and ultimately a conclusion.

With titles of songs almost act as some kind of riddle the tender texture of sounds serve as a surprisingly emotive affair as the listener is able to extract their own interpretation from the bass reading.

Let this band forever be strong.

Rothko interview
Rothko live
Trace Recordings